Rubella is an upper respiratory infection most known for its red rash.
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Rubella is caused by a virus. The virus is passed from person to person through tiny droplets in the air.
Factors that may increase your risk of rubella include:
- Never having the condition
- Never receiving an immunization for rubella
Many people with rubella do not have symptoms. In those who do have them, symptoms are usually mild and include:
- Red, spotty rash all over the body which begins on the face and occurs 14-18 days after exposure
- Fatigue, low energy, and discomfort
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Flushed face
- Red throat that is not sore
- Achy joints and arthritis , especially in adults, which may last for a month or more
Upper respiratory symptoms and fatigue occur first, followed by the rash.
Babies whose mothers have rubella during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, may be miscarried or stillborn, or they may be born with severe birth defects known as congenital rubella syndrome , which can cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Rubella is confirmed by blood tests.
There is no treatment for rubella. Pain relievers may be advised to relieve discomfort.
The rubella vaccine is often given as a combination vaccine with:
The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at age 12-15 months and again at age 4-6 years of age. If you or your child has never been vaccinated against rubella, talk to the doctor.
Women who are not sure if they have been vaccinated should be tested. This is important if they are in occupations with high risk of exposure to rubella, such as:
- Healthcare workers
- Childcare workers
- Marcie Sidman, MD
- Reviewed: 06/2016
- Updated: 08/27/2014
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